April: Opening Howl / Inner Sky
[take it away, Keisha!]
my whole life is thunder.
As the time for the moot descends, it's a special night. All moot nights are special of course, but tonight is different. Tonight is a lunar eclipse. That's an omen to some, make no mistake. And it might draw skepticism in some that this night, when Luna will be spattered blood-red, the moot will be opened by the biggest peacenik in the greater Denver area. Keisha Ballard, Still Waters, doesn't even shed blood. How can she possibly be the right person to open a moot when that color stains the face of an Ahroun moon?

Well, stay a minute because she may surprise you.

It begins, as it did the last time she was Caller of the Wyld, in the morning, long before the moot is actually set to start. She comes here, dressed in a red sarong with her feet bare. She has already purified herself in mind, body and spirit, something she's taken care to ready for over the past few days. Her hair is let loose, brown dreadlocks falling gently around her shoulders with fire stones carefully braided into it. Apache's tears, for cleansing and grounding. Aventurine and tiger's eye for energy. Around her neck, a simple piece of twine with a piece of amber to strenghten her throat chakra. This is how she comes to find the spot, positioned within a clearing deep within the park, where the moot will begin.

When she finds the place she slips out of the sarong and sits there, skyclad, in meditation. She takes her time, soaking in the energy of the land. There is no need for her to rush; she's here all day. She focuses on the enormity of the moot, takes joy and peace from the wildness around her. She is Keeper of the Land for the Cold Crescent now and while she's always had as much of an affinity for the deep parts of the wilderness as any Garou, she feels even closer now. It's joyful and exuberant, but contemplative. Reflective. She is lost out there for what may seem like days to her, but is only hours. Either way, it is not enough--will never be enough. But it will have to do.

She's almost done, but not quite. She takes a few more hours to build a pyre. It's no quick thing; she gathers together wood from the ground, not taking any directly from the trees. Even the pieces she does take where they fell from their trees get a brief but sincere thank you to the spirits for their offerings. The stack of wood isn't enormous--she's not trying to set the whole place ablaze, obviously--but it could be called large, reaching a spot at about waist level. She makes sure it is clear all the way around it so that the fire won't spread, readies herself. It's almost time.

And then, of course, the time comes. The shadows are growing longer, and Luna is rising. She begins to summon the spirits, sets the fire. The smell of smoke is the signal of where to come, and come they do one and all. Two legs, four legs, it matters not; they come here after humankind has fled the park. And they converge on this location where the multi-racial Child of Gaia waits. And when they come, she begins.

She is no singer like her packsister. Like Raspberry Sky, honored now that she's gone. But that doesn't mean that she doesn't sing. And luckily, some songs you don't need the voice of an angel for. One of those songs we will hear tonight, as Keisha holds her staff high in the air and shouts like a musical call to arms,

Put on your war paint!

The staff comes down, starts banging out the rhythm. Certainly, many here don't know the Fall Out Boy song, but the words aren't the important part. It's the defiance, the willingness to stand in the face of the swirling end of everything and the courage to say that This Will Not Stand. That's the spirit of the song. That and the theme of rising from the ashes, much like the Cold Crescent is doing now. Much like the Garou of Denver are, stronger than ever. And she begins to power her way through, her energy beginning to rising to as the first verse comes on.

You are a brick tied to me that's dragging me down
Strike a match and I'll burn you to the ground
We are the jack-o-lanterns in July, setting fire to the sky
Here, here comes this rising tide so come on
Put on your war paint
Cross walks and crossed hearts and hope-to-dies
Silver clouds with grey linings

As she sing-shouts the rapid-fire lyrics she moves from person to person, the staff pounding against the ground as she brings her manic energy to each and every one of them. Here, Thomas Delacroix gets a clap on the shoulder. There, Ruby Lee finds the slight young Theurge in her face, grinning and stamping her foot on the ground as she raises the staff in the air. When she finds Phoebe she goes forehead-to-forehead with her Alpha, exultant eyes locked on before pulling back to get the whole crowd into the spirit.

So we can take the world back from a heart attack
One maniac at a time we will take it back
You know time crawls on when you're waiting for the song to start
So dance along to the beat of your heart

Hey young blood
Doesn't it feel like our time is running out
I'm gonna change you like a remix
Then I'll raise you like a phoenix
Wearing our vintage misery
No, I think it looked a little better on me
I'm gonna change you like a remix
Then I'll raise you like a phoenix

And that chorus repeats, over and over, rising in passion and strength until they're all there. And the fire is burned down at that point, enough that Keisha draws them through the shadowy wall of the Gauntlet into the Penumbra. The sarong slips off as she takes Crinos form and she howls, clear and clean, guiding the others into their calls to bring the moot to an impassioned beginning.

Samael @ 2:00PM
[[Charisma+Performance, spending WP because she doesn't have a lot of dice for this!]]
Roll: 4 d10 TN6 (5, 5, 8, 10) ( success x 3 ) [WP] VALID

jamie @ 2:01PM
Awyiss. Witnessed.

[[The song in question, for those that may not know it, is below for reference]]

"The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules."
"Good men don't need rules. And today's not the day to find out why I have so many."
Phoebe arrives, and she finds a few others. Garou she knows, has known since childhood. Garou she's worked with or performed rites for or taught at Cold Crescent. Garou she's led and Garou she's followed. When she sees Hector she puts her hands on his shoulders, looks him somewhat seriously in the face for a moment (last time they saw each other she crushed a gourd into his forehead, and they shared a moment). Then her face splits in a grin as she drags him at her for a quick hug.

When Keisha begins her song Phoebe stands a little straighter, chin lifting, eyes turning bright. She doesn't know this song, but the words don't matter so much as the rhythm, the melody, joining her voice with the voices of those around her. Singing her spirit to Luna and granting her Gnosis to Earth.

There are new wolves in the crowd tonight, but then aren't there always? People come and people go in the city of Denver. Some stay, some are only visiting, some disappear without a trace, or they fall.

On the whole, no one's really heard of Eye of Muninn. Quite a few heard her howl her introduction at the boundary of Forgotten Questions. Those in Cold Crescent have seen her, felt her presence, seen her name written on a travel map taped to a white board. Some have spoken with her, and those who have can say that she has a powerful energy about her. But most of the city? Most of the city wouldn't know her from any other wolf in the crowd.

That'll change. Soon enough every Garou in this city will know her name.

She is not alone. However they get there, she walks side by side with a Gnawer Ahroun, herself in Lupus. They're still considering the formality of joining under a totem, but really, anyone who looks at them can tell it's just a matter of time. Or maybe it's just a matter of discussing with the Theurges what spirit might suit them.

The way she moves is powerful, as proud as any well bred wolf of her tribe. But there is a joy in her single bright blue eye, a joy that expands to bursting when she finds Hector and Tamsin. She dances around the other Galliards, bumping into their sides, completely shoulder-checking (or being shoulder-checked by) Echoes of the Lost.

Then there is a hush, as Still Waters begins her rite. Begins her song. And Sora lights up, but she doesn't immediately join in, doesn't match her voice or her spirit to the Theurge. She shifts into her Homid shape again to use her Homid voice, and when the time is right she adds emphasis.

Burn you to the ground!
Setting fire to the sky!


A pause, foot stomping, until she yells into the chorus.

Wearing our vintage misery
No, I think it looked a little better on me
I'm gonna change you like a remix
Then I'll raise you LIKE A PHOENIX!

The chorus repeats, repeats, until the Skald throws her head back in a loud WHOOOO! Which turns into an AWWOOOO! Howling in Homid, she melts not back into her small(ish) lupine form, but up, up! In Hispo Eye of Muninn lifts her voice to the sky, to the moon, lets it wash over the earth, and the other Garou. And at its conclusion she launches herself across the Gauntlet.
Avery has never heard this song before. She does not sing along, in part because -- don't tell anyone -- she doesn't have a very good singing voice, but primarily because she comes to the moot in hispo, her white fur still thick from the colder temperatures, her eyes still a piercing blue. As ever, she stays close to Javed, keeps an extra set of eyes on Ruby, because while the cub is her packmate's responsibility, Avery thinks quite well of her, and remembers all too well what it was like to be a cub who was not also a child.

While they howl and sing and stomp for Gaia, she finds another cub out in the crowd, a tiny Fianna whose name is Jill, who is only 11. Not to introduce herself, not to jostle her or nip her or nuzzle hello, but to keep an eye out for her. To see how she responds to all this.

But when it comes time to truly open the sky, Avery stops thinking about the younger, or the pack-bound. She raises her muzzle to the air and howls, a sound far more pure and more enriching than any singing she might do.
my whole life is thunder.

Erich likes that line. He doesn't know the song either and he -- as we all know from his tribute to Raspberry Sky -- doesn't have a great singing voice to boot. He is, however, enthusiastic and boisterous and energetic and generally loud. So!

He repeats that line. Not constantly, he's not Rain-Erich or anything; but every time there's a crest in the music, every time it seems time to yellsing something, he yellsings it:


And that is his Howl this month.
Charlotte does not know this song, either. You wouldn't expect her to, looking at her, would you? All moonlight-on-ice, fine and young and moon-mad too, by the looks of her, by the scent of her blood, by the way the evening swims in and around her, too, the way she looks beneath the moon. Somehow both eldrich and impossibly young.

Here she is in her girl-skin, dedicated things a bit blood-spattered - it doesn't all come out, it seems into the <i>seams</i> you must understand, where not even a discarded toothbrush can reach, strangely controlled or perhaps just reserved in Erich's shadow, at least until the time comes to howl to the moon -

and then she is a wolf, all white. Howling, howling. Joy and sorrow, rage and love and loss, every last puzzle piece of their too-brief existance, echoing across the sky.
But my heart is wild and my bones are steel
And I could kill you with my bare hands if I was free.

- Phosphorescent, Song for Zula
It's time, his bones say and the blood quickens like a thought with a developed discipline. He self ignites next to Eye of Munin, reshapping his form and becoming something more canine that looks a lot like a wolf. It's a raw muscular power that takes over and everything becomes a whole lot clearer.

They arrive as if a pack, close and trotting / running near one another so flanks or shoulders touch on every third or fourth paw to earth placement. Racing fast, playing, bouncing over one another, wrestling, nipping at heels, rolling in the dirt, running until their tongues were dried out and the adrenaline rode them like a fever.

While Bite's Back sits there his tongue hangs long and swollen from his open jaws, his sides heave quick with rapid breaths. When Keisha begins the breaths stop, the tongue still remains. When the wolf next to him begins to howl he rises from his haunches as if he needed his whole body to wrestle his howl from the dark holes inside of him and cast them out of his throat.

When it leaves him it is long and excited and excitable and it lays beneath the sounds of the others, a supporting foundation.

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